North well-placed for investing hike

July 11, 2024 | 10:18
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Many localities in the north have emerged as bright spots for foreign backers, thanks to the advantage of industrial land plots and the consistent attraction strategy of focusing on high quality.

Sources in Ha Nam, Thai Binh, and Nam Dinh provinces last week told VIR they are courting a supplier of Tesla, which specialises in manufacturing car chassis. When choosing a suitable destination, the investor is expecting to build a project worth more than $300 million.

North well-placed for investing hike
Localities are being surveyed for new production complexes

The group has already surveyed many localities, the provinces said, and is close to considering one of the three provinces.

A representative of the park developer told VIR, “The investor, from Taiwan, prefers these three localities due to the advantage of available land. In addition, they are also impressed with the methodical investment promotion method of the provincial authorities and the industrial park developers in collaboration with the attractive preferential policies.”

Over the last two weeks, leaders of Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) arrived in Thai Binh and Nam Dinh to discuss the plans to develop two more VSIP facilities there.

At a meeting with leaders of Thai Binh People’s Committee, Lee Ark Boon, CEO of Singapore’s SembCorp Development, one of the joint venture partners, said, “We expect the provincial authorities to facilitate the implementation of the project. The joint venture plans to begin the construction as soon as site clearance is completed.”

In Thai Binh, VSIP will develop an IP with an investment capital of $211.87 million, which covers an area of 344.67 hectares in Thai Thuy district.

Ngo Dong Hai, a member of the Central Party Committee and Secretary of Thai Binh Party Committee, said, “The province would support VSIP with administrative procedures and site clearance towards allowing work to start in October.”

At present, Thai Binh Economic Zone has a total area of 30,000ha, over 8,000ha of which is to develop IPs. The provincial leaders believe that the land is an outstanding factor in creating breakthroughs in pulling in foreign-invested capital.

Some notable names have also announced intentions to expand and build new facilities in the north. US beverage giant Suntory PepsiCo in March announced a plan to pump some $390 million into build two factories in Ha Nam and the southern province of Long An, both powered by renewable energy.

The information was revealed by a company representative during a meeting in March between Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and a business delegation organised by the US-ASEAN Business Council and led by its president and CEO Ted Osius. Suntory PepsiCo’s factory in Ha Nam will cost $90 million and its Long An beverage factory has a price tag of $300 million.

Pham Gia Tuc, Secretary of Nam Dinh Party Committee, said, “The province has a large room to attract foreign investors thanks to the advantage of the industrial land. Nam Dinh currently has six IPs with an occupancy rate of 55 per cent. We also have 10 IPs being added in the planning with a total capital of 2,546ha.”

These localities are collaborating with investors to complete industrial infrastructure. Nam Dinh is calling for funding in the infrastructure of some IPs to meet the land plots, including 1,100-ha Hai Long, 200-ha Nam Hong, 114-ha Hong Tien and 200-ha Trung Thanh IP.

Along with the advantage of the industrial land, northern localities also have consistency in the strategy, which focuses on initiatives with advanced technology.

Nguyen Manh Linh, deputy director of Dai Phong Infrastructure Construction – the developer of My Thuan IP in Nam Dinh, said, “My Thuan IP is directed to engage high-quality and environmentally friendly projects. The occupancy rate is now 42 per cent with those in terms of electronic products, machinery and high-tech products, which are mostly exported to the EU and the United States.”

“Although we expect to fill the IP soon, we no longer need to draw in foreign direct investment (FDI) at all costs. We still keep some large plots to welcome big groups because these ventures will be the basis to lure high-quality capital inflow in the province in general and My Thuan IP in particular,” Linh added.

The provincial authorities’ efforts help these localities to acquire much success in FDI attraction. Thai Binh has emerged as the spotlight in gaining FDI, with $3 billion in 2023.

Nam Dinh, meanwhile, was renowned as the major textile and garment hub in Vietnam. However, the province currently is the destination of many high-tech projects, such as a $120 million computer manufacturing scheme funded by Quanta Group, an Apple supplier.

Foreign backers also highly appreciate the support and company of local authorities. Lawyer Nguyen Hong Chung, chairman of DVL Ventures, which has experience in connecting investors with these localities, said several parties reflected that they are pleased with the investment environment there.

“Procedures are handled at a focal agency, which saves time compared to general regulations. Investors also do not have to pay any service fees except for prescribed fees,” Chung said. “At large-scale projects, provincial leaders accompany them to discuss preferential mechanisms.”

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